CARMODY: "Into the alabasters/And night blues," Wallace Stevens said.
BLIGHT: It's poetic sounding, I admit, but what does it mean?
CARMODY: [Patiently, to a fault.] It was in reference to the "Barque of phosphor."
BLIGHT: [Overflowing irony.] Oh, well, that explains everything.
It was 1955, somewhere in Wyoming on the City of Los Angeles, racing across the continent. I
kept thinking how odd it was—there we were inside this well-lit train, eating dinner, having a
drink in the lounge car, reading a book in bed—all the time moving through the deep darkness
outside. If you were outside in the dark, stopped in your car at a crossing, say, or awakened in
your hotel room by the whistle, the world inside the train must have seemed tiny and mysterious,
and if you imagined the people on the train looking out at you...
by the hundreds coming low
over house tops
spill of a million colors
the hiss of propane burners
the steering wheel
from an old Ford sedan
fixed to a bike
an illusion of power
the center of attention
a dream of flight
in magical craft, under
over Eucalyptus trees
landing on the highway